George and I had a lesson yesterday afternoon. Although TrainerCheryl complimented us on our much improved and very forward trot, I was disappointed in my canter work or, quite frankly, lack thereof.
My name is Walktrotcanter and I am afraid to canter. Yep, let’s just put it out there.
I. am. Afraid. Big. Chicken.
We can be going along in a fine groove and I will think, “Gee, perhaps I will try the canter”…with visions of the wind on my face and my hair flying in the breeze as we zip right along. The problem is not that my hair is not long enough and I wear a helmet so it wouldn’t fly in the breeze even if I COULD get a nice canter going; the problem is that when I cue George, all hell breaks loose in my body and I end up flopping about like a noodle in the saddle, all legs and elbows. George then says to himself, “WTF?? What is she DOING up there??”, and decides whatever it is I am doing, he had better slow down.
And off we trot.
Cantering has always been a bit of an issue with me, I don’t know why. I think it is because I feel like all of the sudden everything is MOVINGVERYFASTANDHOWCANISTAYWITHTHISSPEEDINGHORSE. Of course, when I watch someone canter while I am standing on the ground, it does not look at all like the blur of speed I seem to feel when I am riding. I agree with TrainerCheryl in that I just need to do it and do it and do it and my comfort and coordination will come. I also agree with TrainerCheryl in that George is not going to take off in a bucking rampage so he is a good horse as far as learning. I just need to do it. And learn it. And not be afraid.
In other, more exciting,news, George has moved to a different stall at the barn. This move is somewhat of a *promotion* for us, as we are now only steps away from the tack room. This is the *elite* section of stalls that the long-term boarders normally call home. (We are in the IN Crowd! We are POPULAR!!) Now, instead of hauling our saddle and bridle and assorted miscellaneous items down the loooooooong corridor of the barn with several trips back and forth because I usually forget something, I am only steps from my tack locker. Now, George will also be tacked-up faster thus allowing for optimum riding time. I am more thrilled about this than George is, of course; so to make him happy I told him we would go to Target and get some furnishings for his new penthouse apartment. Maybe a cool chair and some tab top curtains so he fits in with the popular rich kids next to him.
Yeah so it has been about a million years since I last posted…I have become Lamoid Blogger. It isn’t that I don’t have *material* for a daily post, I just don’t have *time*. Enough with the excuses, move on. We last left off with The Move of George to New Barn. Fortunately, he is quite thrilled with his new digs. His spot in the barn is next to a sweet sorrel mare named Lilly and a bay gelding named Kris so he has friends to kick back with and drink beer.
Because of continuing problems with our own getting-used-to-each-other, I put him into 30 days of training with a very nice woman who I met thru some fellow boarders at the barn. What we found out is that George was *a bit* spoiled with his former owner and when I put the kabash on some of his behavior, he became very anxious and was acting out. It was not that he was being mean, he was just confused. I was nearly at my wits end by the time he started BootCamp with Cheryl, The Trainer. The last straw was when he tried to lay down and roll WITH MY $$$$SADDLE$$$$ ON HIS BACK. At that point, I cared a heck of a lot more about my saddle than I did about him. It was pretty much the ultimate Fu** You from him and I felt like I had failed at the one thing I had wanted for years more than anything else, my own horse. Where was My Friend Flicka? Where was The Black Stallion? Hidalgo?? How come my horse hates me??? Uggh, it was really awful and frustrating and sad and humiliating.
Once he started BootCamp, he threw several tantrums with the trainer. I was kind of happy to see it wasn’t just with me that he became a spoiled brat; he did it with her when she asked him to do things, too. After a couple of sessions, he finally started to figure out that everything is ok and there is no need to stomp and pout…we can have fun even if things are not on his terms. All things Horse have been going much better in the last few weeks, much to my delight. He is not an easy horse and he definitely has an opinion, but he and I are working together with a bit more harmony and a lot less crying. I was able to work out regular lessons with the trainer so we can continue to progress. I don’t think H minds that we don’t go out to eat much and we seem to have all generic labels in the cupboard as long as I am not a frustrated sobbing mess from not being able to enjoy my horse. After all, our hobbies are supposed to be fun, right?
I have always wanted to learn to ride a horse. I have a long way to go. I am 46. My fav things in my mid-life are cocktails and horses...tho not necessarily at the same time. I am also a widow and that sucks...thus the need for more cocktails and more horses. Welcome!